Roberts white spider 1990 rebuild 

I bought a Chas Roberts white spider online, a classic Roberts white spider in 753/ "service de corse ". Awesome frame similar of that used by Tim Gould and the Peugeot mount bike team in 1988-1990. However as is prone with 20 year old micro thin 753 there are a few problems. When I got it and stripped the paint found it had a crack inthe Bottom bracket, A crack in the seat tube and down tube. These had been badly repaired and were too old and rusty to repair. So do I send it away for a £400-500 bill? Write it off? Nahh lets have a crack rebuilding her, nothing to loose. Although with how much I have to cut out and lose I think it will be a Replica Roberts by the time I finish!

Under the paint

Here is what the frame looks like after is been stripped. Crack in the bb shell, and the seat tube at the bb and further up. 

After stripping the frame I spotted some additional Braze on the seat tube. On closer inspection there are a crack in the lower part filled with silver solder and further up a crack that has been filled with brass and over cooked with holes. Not fixable. I think we may have to do some major surgery on this.

Before I start I need to measure all the angle and features and make a full size drawing to work from. Looking a the quality of workmanship and features of the frame its a little dawnting. There is a reason Chas Roberts is a master frame builder, and I hope I can come close to the finished product that he does. even if it takes me a stack more hours.

Here is a the dimention drawing that iwill be working from --->>

Straight blade 1" forks are going to be hard to come by. So I will either fillets over some tig ones for efect or make some from scratch.

Starting with the down tube head tube join as always. I have made the first mitre. Making sure its is a close as it can be, no daylight or gaps of any kind. I have gone for a columbus nivacrom downtube and a reynolds 531 headtube. I have tacked using a SIF 101 1.5 mm rod.  With the head tube I have to try and  match the fillet radius as per the original frame.

You can see the seatube with re-inforcement tube in the background that will have to be cut to shape then silver soldered as the gap is too small for brass. 

Next I have done the main triangle with 531, columbus nivachrom and gara tubes, a Silva cromo bottom bracket shell. All fillete brazed in brass (sif 101).

I have tried to match the Roberts fillets as best I can. Now for some major clean up before the back end starts.

Now the scary bit. I have cut the rear end of the original bike. I lefts some of the main triangle on so when I de-braze I have something to pull away from the frame. Loads of cleaning up to do onthe rear triangle. You can see my 1988 Roberts in the background (lugged BB).

After the rear triangle is cleaned up I put it all ot a jig to tack the rear end. thankfully the Roberts miters were spot on and only needed a clean up.  A few tacks then some small fillets and ta da, a whole frame.

I had to do a small repair to chainstay as it had some corosion but all in all in great shape now. Right now stored in the Airing cupboard until the paint turns up.

I got a cromo straight spinner fork and put some fillets down so it matches the look. Actually its probably nearlty as fast to build a new fork!

So the paint has come. I got it from a speclislist place. 2 Pack base/primer then white, then pearl red and mettalic blue. the fades are not quite as good as i wanted but its pretty good. 

Black would have been best to cover any welds that were not perfect as the metallic takes no prisoners. but it looks good.

 Paint was left to coure fro 5 days in the airing cupboard just to make sure. then custom Peugeot decals and Roberts decals and look to finish it off. Oh and some "Service de corse"/ 753 Reynolds tubing decals. Just need a clear coat and a full 1990 Campagnolo group set.

Clear coat done and cured. So its time to ream the headtube and bottom bracket. then build the bike. The headset has a bigger stack than I had planned for so the top headtube ream goes to the bronz should not cause any problems. the headset just fits with out the spacer and some thread lock.  The bottom bracket on this is a 73mm shell but the bottom bracket I have is a 68 so a new axel is needed (non Campag for now).

I have gone for blue cabels as they look good but I do have the offical campag pearl ones.Ritchey abmber wall mega bites. And a hard to find look saddle.

The Chainset is a NOS centaur one and a new chain the rest of the kit is used but in great condition.

I have a black chromostem and 501 bars but they need a paitnbefore they go on.

Apart from that its looking good.

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